Pacific Gulls at Victor Harbor, South Australia
Despite being a popular beach with both locals and tourists, the shoreline at Victor Harbor is remarkably rich in birdlife, particularly shorebirds. On most occasions the observant visitor will be able to see several Pacific Gulls, either on the beach or resting on the rocks near the rocky outcrop known as The Bluff.
A short distance from where I took these photos there is a popular fishing spot. This spot always seems to have a few hardy anglers present, regardless of the weather conditions.
Eastern Reef Egret, The Bluff, Victor Harbor
Last month we went on a day trip with friends of ours to Victor Harbor. We primarily went to see the whales but in that quest we were unsuccessful. Best thing we saw was several seals. It was a wild stormy day and I guess the whales used their common sense and stayed under water as much as possible.
During the afternoon we drove to the base of The Bluff, a prominent hill on the south western edge of town. On the short drive to the fishing jetty there are many rocky outcrops close into shore. I’ve always found this spot to be good for birding. I was not disappointed on this occasion either.
This solitary Eastern Reef Egret (also called Eastern Reef Heron) was busy feeding around the rocks, the photo above showing he has a “crest” – it’s actually the blustery wind giving the bird a “bad feather day”.
This species in interesting in that it can be found in both the dark morph, shown in these photos, and a white version. As far as I know this species is not very commonly seen in South Australia, so I have reported this sighting to Birds SA. In fact, I’ve never seen it in South Australia myself. I’ve only seen it twice before – both times in Western Australia many years ago.
This species is not to be confused with the White-faced Heron, shown in the last photo below.